Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2022

Thesis Advisor(s)

Kimberli Treadwell

Honors Major

Psychological Sciences


Health Psychology | Public Health


This study examined the impact of health anxiety and emotional reasoning on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and preventative behaviors, hypothesizing that high anxiety and emotional reasoning would predict lower vaccine hesitancy and higher COVID-19 preventative health behavior after controlling for demographic variables. A large international non-probability convenience sample of 532 individuals consented to an online survey in a cross-sectional period from March through August 2021 (one month following availability of vaccinations in the USA). Participants completed questionnaires online. Health anxiety and general anxiety were significantly correlated with COVID-19 preventative behaviors, including mask wearing and social distancing, and emotional reasoning. General anxiety and emotional reasoning significantly predicted vaccine hesitancy. Results suggest that addressing anxiety and emotional reasoning in public health campaigns may foster compliance with CDC vaccination recommendations.